This coming August, after 100 years, an electric company is supposed to move from Tel Aviv to its new central headquarters in Rishon Lezion. The transfer of the electricity company complex to the Israel Land Authority (RMI) is related to an asset distribution agreement signed in 2018 with the state.
According to the agreement, the rights of the electric company in 16 properties will be registered in the name of the state and handed over to its possession. Even though the eviction date is approaching, the new plan has not yet been discussed in the local planning and construction committee.
Among the properties of the Electric Company in Tel Aviv, which are due to be vacated – the historic complex on Electric Street where the company’s offices and headquarters and the first power plant in the city are located (21 dunams), the Yarkon Ramat Ha’ayil complex (75 dunams), the North Redding station (5 dunams), the Haskalah complex on Krimanitsky Street (20 dunams), Delek Site 1 (21 dunams) and Tel Aviv South Station (3 dunams).
A plan for the complex that is being renewed between the Electric Street and Menachem Begin Street in Tel Aviv was prepared for Rami by the Menad Architects Office, and was presented to the public for update in early 2022. The plan proposes the construction of a 30-story employment and residential tower at the intersection of the complex with Mikveh Israel Street and two other buildings with a height of 8 and – 5 floors on its southwest side. The total area built in the plan, not including the board building and the historic power plant, is 51.4 thousand square meters. 120 apartments with an area of 12 thousand square meters, 34.4 thousand square meters of employment areas, 2,220 square meters of commercial areas, and 2,727 square meters of public areas will be built there. Unlike what is happening now, the historical complex is supposed to be opened to the public so that there will be a direct connection for pedestrians from Rothschild Blvd. to the Electric Garden complex, towards the renovated old central station.
RMI stated that the plan is to be discussed for deposit in June and that when the conditions for its deposit are completed and assuming it is approved, it will be published for objections. It was also stated that according to the agreement between RMI and the Municipality of Tel Aviv, the electric company was supposed to return the land to RMI by the end of this coming August , but she asked for an extension to get organized, which she was granted.
Real estate appraiser Aryeh Kamil, from the office of Kamil Tarshansky Raphael, believes that this is an excellent location near two light rail stations and not far from a metro station. In his opinion, as a result of the construction on the site of the old central station, the area of Neve Shanan and the new central station will be further apart. On the other hand, he estimates that the value of the lot will not reach NIS 60 million per dunam, as they paid last year for similar lots in the area. What will lower the price is the uncertainty regarding the rights that the BIA confers, the presence of buildings for strict conservation and duties that the municipality may impose on the developer.
The electric company is moving from its historical headquarters in Tel Aviv to the “Electrum company campus” whose construction is now being completed in the Elef complex in Rishon Lezion.
The project, whose cost is estimated at NIS 400 million, is being built by Solel Bona. The project was built on a land division with an area of approximately 100 dunams, including a headquarters building, a community services building, an operational building and a workshop, in a built-up area of 45 thousand square meters and other parking and organization areas.
The historical complex in Tel Aviv was founded in 1923 when Pinchas Rotenberg built the first power plant of the Electric Company on Givat Korchar located on the historical route from Jaffa to Jerusalem and Nablus, east of Hazut Beit. Since 1965, the place has been used as the headquarters and seat of the board of directors of an electricity company. The site, which was once on the edge of the city, has become, especially in recent years, a central location, accessible by transport and in demand.
The documentation file for the historic power station building, which was already prepared in 2011, emphasizes the “national” importance of the site: “The building is a symbol of the turning point of the independence of the Jewish community in general and of Tel Aviv in particular. It is a symbol of the ability of the bodies of the Jewish community at its beginning to establish something from nothing. And it is a symbol of the establishment of the electricity plant in Israel and, as a result, a symbol of the beginning of modern industry in Israel.”